Title


[094]

OVID'S TOWER
OVID'S TOWER

CHAPTER IV.

THE VALLEY OF HATSZEG.
Valley of the Temes. -- Wallack Beauty. -- Ovid's Tower. -- Iron Works at Ruskberg. -- Effects of regular Work and regular Pay. -- Reformers in Hungary. -- Iron Bridge. -- Iron-gate Pass, between Hungary and Transylvania. -- Hospitality. -- Varhely the Ulpia Trajana of the Romans. -- The Dacians under their native kings -- conquered by Trajan. -- Wallack Language like the Italian. -- Wallacks of Dacian, not Roman, Origin. -- Roman Remains at Várhely. -- Amphitheatre. -- Mosaics.

INSTEAD of entering Transylvania by any of the usual routes, we proceeded from Mehadia along the banks of the Temes, through some most lovely scenery, and along as good a road as any in England, [095] -- for we were still in the military frontiers, -- to Karansebes, and then turning to the east we took the direction of the Iron-gate pass. The valley of the Temes is deficient in grandeur, but it is wild and wooded. Twice narrowing itself into a rocky pass where the road has been won from the mountain side, and again widening into meadows and cornfield!, it presents every change of colour, and every variety of scene which can add charms to a landscape. The peasants too in their antique costumes were still new to us, and the women were, or at least we thought them, remarkably beautiful. As we walked along the streets of Karansebes during the market-day, the number of beauties we met was extraordinary. It is curious how various are the opinions different travellers form of the beauty of a people. One passes along a road and meets nothing but pretty faces, -- as certainly was the case with us here ; another follows and sees not a beauty in the whole country. This struck me the more forcibly, as I again (afterwards) passed over this very road, and should certainly have formed but an ill opinion of the people's comeliness from my second visit.

To the lovers of classical reminiscences, Ovid's tower is a name of irresistible attraction. About two miles from Karansebes, on a hill .at the foot of the mountain Mika, is a small square castle,

Non domus apta satis,
which has obtained the popular title of Ovid's [096] Tower, and whence are said to have issued those sweet lamentations at his cruel destiny which still keep a world in admiration. I know the learned say his place of banishment was on the other side of the Danube at Tomi, on the borders of the Black Sea. But I still am inclined to hope that some part of Ovid's sufferings might find a location here; -- where indeed could the poor poet have cried with greater truth
Lassus in extremis jaceo populisque, locisque : Heu quam vicina est ultima terra mihi!

It is pleasant to believe that the Roman soldiers, when the conquests of Trajan, some half century later, had thrown Dacia into their hands, paused in their career of victory -- for it was along this valley they marched -- to visit the prison of their popular poet, and hand down the tradition of his residence there to the present Wallacks.

A short distance from Karansebes, we turned off the high-road to visit the iron-works at Ruskberg. The Messieurs Hoffmann, Germans of great enterprise, having purchased the estate of Ruskberg from the Government, have established in this wild valley a colony of now no less than two thousand five hundred persons, who are actively engaged in their works. Though the iron-foundry is the principal object of their industry, the Messieurs Hoff-mon have by no means confined themselves to it. Having found ores of silver, lead, and copper, as well [097] as iron in their valley, they work them all. With that good fortune too, which so often attends the genius of enterprise, they discovered that a part of the rock overhanging the little stream which bends its course through the valley, was just of the height required for casting shot. Now it happened that in all Hungary, Transylvania, and Wal-lachia, there was no shot-tower, though sporting is a very common amusement, so the Hoffmans were at once able to establish a trade which consumed not only all their own lead, but obliged them to purchase more. Their shot-tower is simply a fine crag one hundred and forty-four feet high. At the top is a small wooden house, in which the lead is melted and allowed to pass through the cullender-shaped mould, whence the shot falls directly into a little basin formed in the brook below.

The iron-works are higher up the valley, and there we found quite a second colony composed of all nations, speaking all languages; Magyars and Wallacks, Germans and Gipsies, Sclaves and Frenchmen, were working together apparently in the greatest harmony. I was much pleased witli the account these gentlemen gave us of the conduct and character of the different races employed by them ; for it bore me out in an old theory of mine, that there is more good than evil in the worst of men, the first being an essential part of their nature, the last mostly the fruit of circumstances. At Rusk-berg, though the various nations presented marked [098] national distinctions, yet the same treatment and the same position have produced nearly the same effects in all. By good management, regular payment, and constant employment, the lazy Wallack had become an industrious artisan, and the wandering, roguish, degraded gipsy, a clever steady workman. Yet many times have I heard injudicious philanthropists in Hungary declare how impossible it was to make the Wallaces labour, and that merely because they had failed in some pet scheme for changing in a day their habits and modes of life, the work of centuries ! I low many kind-hearted people have given clothes to the naked gipsy, and offered him the shelter of a roof, and have branded him afterwards as incapable of civilization, and as insensible to the commonest feelings of gratitude; because he sold the one to supply himself with what he needed more, or forsook the other to seek some occupation less foreign to his tastes and habits !

The Reformer's is always an arduous task; but when his efforts are directed to the improvement of the manners and the character of men, it is a labour to which very few are equal. To be able to enter into the thoughts and feelings of others -- to appreciate circumstances, in which one has never been placed -- to judge of the wants and necessities to which they give rise -- to seize the points by which men may be influenced -- to eradicate the bad and leave the good parts of their character [099] untouched -- to devote heart and soul, without a thought of self-interest to such a work, and then to bear cheerfully the suspicion, the calumny, the opposition of those for whom one has laboured, -- these are some of the qualities required by him who undertakes to reform mankind. As for those philanthropic absolutists, who insist on making men happy cither in this world or the next, whether they will or not, I hold them to be the greatest enemies of their species. If, instead of enforcing on man a happiness which does not suit him, they would but content themselves with removing all those obstacles which bad laws and the false institutions of society impose between poverty and improvement; -- if they would but busy themselves in placing man in a position to help himself, and take care to show him an example in their own persons of those virtues they are most anxious he should practise ; I am convinced that the spirit of moral advancement, and the desire of bettering bis condition, are principles so strongly implanted in human nature, that they must prevail. Nay, so certain do I feel of this improvability in the human race, that I have often thought the great men of the earth must needs have employed all their wit and cunning to invent wicked laws to depress the little men, or the little would long ere this have been much greater than they are, -- though it is just possible that the great might have grown somewhat less by the process.

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But it is time to return to the iron-works. The Messieurs Hoffman showed us the parts of an iron bridge they were constructing for Meliadia, on a plan similar to one already erected at Lugos. This bridge was said to have been invented by one of their workmen, a German, who constructed as a model a small bridge over the brook of Ruskberg. The model bridge, which has been erected some years, and is in constant use, is about eighteen feet long by four wide, and weighs only 1 cent. The principle -- a new one,14 so far as I am aware -- depends on the tension of the arch being maintained by the binding-rods, which unite the two ends, and which is consequently increased the greater the weight imposed. It will be better understood by supposing two strung bows laid on piers to represent the bridge, the road being formed only by planks resting on the strings. This bridge has the advantages of being the lightest and cheapest, of affording the greatest quantity of space below, and of requiring, at the same time, the least height in the piers supporting it. Three or four of these bridges are now erected in different parts of Hungary, varying in some minute details only, and have been found to answer extremely well.

14 Having shown a drawing of this bridge to Mr. Tierney Clark, he assures me that a similar one exists in Yorkshire, and that it has been built many years.

Another novelty, at least to me, which their works presented was this. Requiring a great deal [101] of wood for building, they fell their own timber, saw it in their own mills, and, to avoid the inconvenience arising from its greenness, they dry it before using it. This is done by placing the planks in a small closed building, into which a stream of hot steam is directed, which, entering the wood, drives out its natural juices -- I suppose 011 the principle of endos-mose and cxosmose -- penetrating the vessels in which they arc contained, and supplying their place. The moisture from the steam itself is easily got rid of by a little exposure to the sun. Supposing the shrinking of new wood to occur from the gradual drying out of these juices -- and it is highly probable that in the close texture of wood, viscous fluids, confined in their proper vessc-Is, would require much time to exude -- the theory seems plausible; and, what is still more, Messieurs Hoffman assured me that experience had proved it to be correct, for wood so treated did not shrink afterwards, nor was it in any respect inferior to old wood.

It is unnecessary to speak of all the works we saw carried on here -- the smelting-works, crushing-nulls, washing-floors, iron-hammers, smelting-fur-nacc, casting-floors, moulding-rooms, shot-sorting, engine-making, sawing-mills, indeed, almost all the ruder processes to which the working of metals leads. We were pressed to stay another day, and to visit the mines which were still higher up the valley, and which are said to be particularly interesting to the geologist, from some peculiarities in the strata [102] which they present, as well as a quarry of fine white marble, whicb has been used by the statuary; but we were already in October, and the traveller can scarcely count on fine weather in Hungary after the commencement of November, so that we were forced reluctantly to decline.

The border tract between Hungary and Transylvania could not boast the smoothest of roads ; but we arrived safely at the summit of the low mountain pass, where a Wallack cross, curiously carved with the bastard Greek letters which the Wallaoks use, the top covered in by a neat shingle-roof, something like Robinson Crusoe's umbrella, marked the boundary. On the Hungarian side we had tlie cold bare mountains, ripening in the distance into wooded hills, beyond which we could just perceive the rich plain of the Banat; while, towards Transylvania, a deep mountain gorge, whose yellow-tinted banging woods buried its depth in mystery, carried the eye over a succession of lovely hills and valleys, to which the deep warm shadows of an autumnal sunset lent a charm of peculiar grace and beauty.

At the narrowest part of this pass the Romans are said to have had literally an iron gate, which gave its name to the place. At present not a re-maiu of any kind exists ; but it is curious that three of the most difficult passages which Trajan encountered in his expedition against Dacia -- in the Balkan, on the Danube below Orsova, and at the entrance of Transylvania -- should all retain the [103] name of Iron-Gate Pass, in the language of the common people, to the present day. This pass has been alternately contested by Dacian, Roman, Turk, and Christian ; and many are the scenes of savage glory it has witnessed; many the dying groans it has received. Happily, these times are gone by; and the Borderer, who now keeps his solitary guard on the contested point, finds no more formidable enemy than the poor salt-smuggler; and the pass itself is only a terror to the horses, who can hardly drag their burthen through its deep and clayey roads. Wo were fortunate to have passed it before night, which overtook us rather suddenly as we approached the village of Várhely.

Here we were willing to stay, could quarters be obtained; but hearing that nothing like an inn was to be found, we gave orders to proceed on to Hátszeg, though the driver declared his horses were tired, and the road worse than ever. During the conversation which ensued, an old Wallack joined the party, and oft'ered his opinion on the folly of my proposition very unreservedly, wondering why we could not be content to stop at the house of the Dumnic (Dominus) the squire of the village. Now, though I knew that Transylvania was the very home of hospitality, I did not like to demand it quite so unceremoniously; but the peasant saved me the necessity, for, trotting off, ho returned in a few seconds with an invitation from his master, for us to make use of his house during our stay.

[104]

The Wallack's Dumnie was an Hungarian noble of the poorer class, possessing one-third of the village of Varhcly, and living in the style of one of our smallest farmers. The family consisted of the .young master, his mother and two sisters, who, though they spoke only Hungarian and Wallack, came out to receive us, and assured us that we were heartily welcome. The house was a pretty building of one story, raised four feet above the ground, and was entered by a handsome portico. It consisted of the kitchen, which was half filled with the high hearth, two rooms on each side, and below store-rooms and cow-houses ; the whole being enclosed by a garden on one side, and by the large farm-yard and buildings on the other. We were shown into the best rooms, usually occupied by the family as sleeping-rooms; and, in a very short time the beds were covered with the whitest linen, while the table offered a hearty supper to console us for the cold dinner we had taken during the morning, and to satisfy the keen appetite the mountain air had blessed us with.

Várhely, or Gradistie, in the language of the Wallacks, is a place of so much interest, that we thought ourselves singularly fortunate in obtaining our present shelter. Though now a miserable Wallack village, Varhely occupies the site of Sarmise-gethusa, the former capital of the Dacians, the residence of Decebalus their king; and on the ruins of which, Ulpia Trajana was founded, -- the imperial [105] city which Trajan destined as the seat of government, for his conquests beyond the Danube !

The name of Dacia scarcely makes its appearance in history, till the time of Alexander, when the Dacians, under their King Sarmis, refusing to submit to tbc conqueror's arms, their kingdom was ravaged, and peace with difficulty obtained. This Sarmia is said to have built the town, which was named from him, and this is rendered almost certain by a gold coin found near Thorda, and which bears his effigy, with the words ΣAPMIΣ BAZIΛ on one side, and on the reverse, the fortitied gate of a town. On the division of Alexander's conquests among his generals, Thrace, together with the countries on either side the Danube, fell to the share of Lysimachus. But Dacia had been overrun, not subdued; and the new king found his subjects so little inclined to accept liis rule, that lie was obliged to march against them at the head of a large force. Dromichoetes, the successor of Sarmis, was prepared for the attack, and succeeded, not only in resisting the Grecian army, but in capturing its chief, and appropriating the rich plunder of his camp.

It is probable that at this time, cither from the plunder of the camp, or from the ransom of his prisoners, the Daeian King obtained an immense treasure, for on two separate occasions, -- if I am rightly informed, once in 1545, and again about twenty years since, -- many thousand gold coins have been

[106]

discovered in this neighbourhood, some of them bearing the name of Lysimachus, and others the word KΟΣΩN from the name of the town Cossea in Thrace, where they were struck. I am in possession of some of these coins; and though many were melted down by the Jews, in Wallachia, to whom they were conveyed across the frontier in loaves of bread, they are still very common, and are frequently used by the Transylvanians for signet rings, and other ornaments.

From this time, for nearly two hundred and fifty years, the history of Dacia is almost a blank, but in the commencement of Augustus's reign we find these barbarians, led on by their King Cotyso, -- the same probably whom Ovid addresses,

Regia progenies, cui nobilitatis origo,
Homen in Eumolpi pervenit usque, Coty,
Fama loquax vestras si jam pervenit ad aures,
Me tibi finitimi parte jacere soli ! --

rushing down into Italy, and committing such ravages as to fix the attention of Rome on them as dangerous enemies. Engaged for some years in frequent wars, with various fortune, they obtained at last so decided an advantage over the weakness of Domitian as to reduce that Emperor to accept a peace, accompanied by the most disgraceful conditions, and among others the payment of a yearly tribute to Dacia. Decebalus, however, the then King of the Dacians, had, in the eyes of Rome, merited his destruction by his success, and [107] no sooner did Trajan assume the Imperial purple than he determined to restore to its brightness the tarnished honour of the empire, and accordingly prepared an expedition against Dacia which he headed himself.

Trajan seems to have passed through Pannonia (Hungary), to have crossed the Theiss, and followed the course of the Maros into Transylvania. His first great battle was on the Crossfield, near Thor-da. After an obstinate contest, the Dacians were completely routed, and Decebalus obliged to take refuge in Sarmisegethusa. The Crossfield is still called by the Wallack peasants the "Prat de Trajan" (Pratum Trajani), a curious instance of the tenacity of a people's recollections. Reduced to the last extremity, Decebalua was obliged to accept humiliating conditions, which he took the first opportunity of breaking. Trajan, however, had dc-U'rminc'd that Dacia should form a Roman province, and he at once set out again to complete his conquest.

Better acquainted with the geography of the country, Trajan chose a nearer route, and one by which he might at once reach his enemy's capital. It was on this occasion that he crossed the Danube, below the Iron Gate, where his famous bridge was afterwards built, and sending one part of his army along the Aluta, he himself seems to have followed the valley which now leads from Orsova, by Meha-rlia and Karansebcs, over the Iron-gate Pass, direct [108] to Sarmisegethusa. On the column of Trajan, at Rome, the chief events of these two campaigns are most minutely depicted, and thus completely do away with many fables which historians have appended to the story. It appears that the Dacians, unable any longer to defend their capital, set fire to it, and fled to the mountains. Decebalus, finding it impossible to escape his pursuers, stabbed himself and many of his followers destroyed themselves by poison to avoid subjection to the Romans. It is much to be desired that the history of this war should be written by one acquainted with the topography and antiquities of Transylvania, as well as with the materials which Rome and her writers afford.

Trajan, when he bad completed the subjugation of the country, turned his attention to the security of the new province. The present Transylvania became Dacia Mediterranca; Wallachia and Moldavia, Dacia Transalpina; and the Banat, Dacia Ripensis. The bridge over the Danube, the road cut in the rock along its banks, the formation of colonies at Várhely, Karlsburg, Thorda, and several other places, and the connecting them by roads, remains of which still exist, were the means he employed to perpetuate the power of Rome, in the newly-acquired territory.15

15 It has been said that Trajan, through the treachery of a Da-clan, discovered the hidden treasures of Decebalus, which he had concealed in fhe bed of a brook, having turned its course to enable him to place them there. This story derives some confirmation from the column, on which, after the taking of the city, are seen several horses bearing to Trajan panniers filled with treasures, principally consisting of rich cups and vessels. The coins found in 1545, were actually discovered in the bed of this very brook.
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Notwithstanding the resolution of Hadrian to forsake the conquests of his predecessor, and the steps he actually took for that purpose, the Romans seem to have remained masters of Dacia, till the time of Aurelian, when they finally retired across the Danube, and gave up Dacia to the Goths.

Although the duration of the Roman empire in this country was much shorter than in many others of Europe -- about one hundred and seventy years only, -- yet in none did they leave such striking remains of their domination, especially in the language, as here. The Wallack of the present day calls himself "Rumunyi" and retains a traditional pride of ancestry, in spite of his present degradation. The language now spoken by all the people of this nation is soft, abounding in vowels, and deriving most of its words from the Latin. The pronunciation resembles much the Italian, and it is extraordinary that the inflexions and terminations of the words have a much greater similarity to the modern language of Italy than to their Latin original. This would tend to prove, as no connection has existed between the countries since that time, either that tlie vulgar language of Rome was more simple than we commonly imagine, or that, in both cases, the changes have been the natural ones to which a language submits, on its being mixed with [110] others and simplified by the use of an uneducated or foreign people. Nothing is so complex in tlie quantity of its inflexions as a pure language, nothing so simple as a compound and mixed one. Some of the Wallack words are, I believe, Sclavish, which may be accounted for by supposing the Sclavish to have been the original language of the Dacians (and from certain Sclavish names of rivers and mountains here, as well as in Wallachia, I am inclined to believe this the case), or it may be owing to the later mixture of the races, but the preponderance of Latin is so great as to strike a foreigner immediately, and to render the acquisition of the language very easy. On one occasion, being without a servant who spoke the language, I learned enough, for a traveller's needs, in a day or two, and when at a loss, I always resorted to Italian, which was often understood, and with a slight change of sound became Wallack.16

16 I may instance, bun caí, for buoni cavalli; and apa, for aqua, &c.

While I am dabbling in the philosophy of language, let me not forget a trait which, on my return from Turkey, struck me very forcibly. From the Turk the Wallack has borrowed but few words ; but one familiar sound has become so fixed in his vocabulary, that he will never lose it; and it marks, as well as a hundred pages, the relation in which the Turk and Wallack stood to each other. This little word is, "haide!" In Constantinople it is [111] the French man's "va-t-en" to the beggar-boy, the Austrian's "marchir" to his dog, our "come up" to a horse, or the "begone" of an angry master to his servant -- yet none of these languages have any one word of command applied alike to man or beast; but such is the "haide" of the Turk, and such the word he hath bequeathed to the Wallack language, -- a lasting monument of his imperious sway. However the Wallack poet may in after-ages gloss over the fact of his people's slavery, his own tongue will belie him as often as the familiar "haide" escapes from his lips.

It is difficult to say how far the Wallack of the present day has a title to his claim of Roman descent. It was natural enough that the half-civilized Dacians should regard with contempt and hatred the savage hordes which succeeded the Romans, and although conquered, that they should proudly cherish the name of Rumunyi. The greater number of the Human colonists retired across the Danube, but it is possible that some may have remained behind, and from such the Wallacks of Hátszeg claim their descent. The rest, I believe, are content with the honour of that mixture of Roman and Dacian blood which one may naturally suppose to have taken place between the conquerors and the conquered.

That this admixture of races, however, has had so great an influence as travellers have been led to think, from observing the difference of features between the Wallack and his neighbours, the [112] Magyars and Saxons, I am much inclined to doubt, for the features of the Wallacks are more like those of the Dacian of Trajan's column, than those either of the Romans or of the modern Italians. The more I think of the matter, the more I am convinced that the majority of the Wallacks are true Dacians; and as the best proof, I subjoin two Wallack heads, sketched without any reference to the question, which if the reader be sufficiently curious in the matter to compare them with the figures of Dacians and Romans engraved from Trajan's column, he will find little difficulty, I think, in saying to which people they belong.

WALLACK FEATURES
WALLACK FEATURES

Preceded by our host, we commenced a survey of Ulpia Trajana. Just beyond the village, we found a large space of several acres covered with stones of all sizes, which had once been used in [113] building; and in some places we discovered the arched roofs of vaulted chambers, which had been in several places broken into, but they seemed only to be the lower parts of the buildings, and possessed little interest. This space is somewhat higher than the rest of the country, and lias been surrounded by a ditch and mound, which we found extended a quarter of a mile into the village. It is called by the people the Csetatie, fortified place or castle ; but to what age it belongs, or what it may have been, I know not. A little further on, in tbe same direction, we came upon the remains of an amphitheatre. The outer walls are entirely covered with earth, forming a grassy bank of about twelve feet high, and surround an oval space of about seventy-five yards long, by forty-five in its greatest width. The arena is now under plough, and produces a fine crop of Indian corn. Scarcely a stone is left, and yet the form declares, as strongly as evidence can do, its origin and destination. Our host, who owns this part of the village, seemed proud in telling us the good speculation he had made, in selling the large hewn stones which once covered the sides and surface of the place, to his neighbours, who were building houses. As well as we could make out, they were laid in the form of steps,17 and from his praises of their size, they [114] must have been considerable. The shafts of two pillars and a stone seat, with some Roman letters, which now ornament our host's yard, were brought, he said, from this place. From hence, we could trace elevations and inequalities in the ground, which, though now overgrown with grass, seemed to indicate the sites of former buildings, for more than a mile along the plain. It is said, that remains of an aqueduct still exist; but of these we observed nothing, any more than of the Roman road, though it is highly probable that a better knowledge of the country, and the ability to converse with the people, might have enabled us to discover them. The difficulty of obtaining any information from an uneducated farmer, through the interpretation of an ignorant servant, is very discouraging.

17 I am inclined to think that the name of Gradistie may have been given to the place by the Wallacks in consequence of these steps. -- (Gradus.)

It is impossible to stand on the ruins of this amphitheatre, with, the traces of a former city around you, the beautiful plain stretched out at your feet, and bounded by a range of distant hills, without calling to mind Rome, her Campagna, and her clear blue mountains. The very forms of the hills towards Hátszeg favoured the illusion; and, as the last rays of the setting sun gilded their tops, we had already made out a Tivoli, an Albano, and a Frascati.

Towards the middle of the village, we were conducted to see a Mosaic pavement, discovered here in 1823. To obtain a sight of this object, however, [115] we had been obliged to send off the servant early in the morning to a village ten miles distant, where the lady, to whom this part of Varhely belongs, lives; for she had erected a shed over the pavement, to preserve it from the destructive hands of visitors, and would only give the key to persons with whom she thought it would be safe. As we were totally unknown, we had some doubt as to the success of our application; but the servant returned with the key, which the lady had no hesitation, she said, in lending to Englishmen, as she felt sure they would do no injury; and with this very polite message she had sent also some wine fur our use, as none was to be obtained at Varhely. How lucky, that she guessed Englishmen loved genuine wine as well as genuine antiquities !

About three feet below the surface, and surrounded by the original walls, which are eighteen inches high, we found two Mosaic pavements, which, from their size, separation by a wall, and relative position, were probably the floors of two baths. The chamber on the left, nearly twenty feet square, was occupied by a very perfect Mosaic, surrounded by a highly ornamented border, representing the visit of Priam to Achilles, to beg the dead body of Hector. The names of ΠΡΙΑΜΟΣ, ΑΧΙΛΛΕϒΣ, and ΑϒΤΟΜΕΔΩΝ, the sword-bearer of Achilles, are worked in Greek letters; while Mercury, who has conducted Priam, is sufficiently indicated by his caduceus and wings. The [116] kneeling figure of Priam, embracing the knees of Achilles, is well drawn, and full of expression, and the dress of the Trojan king is worthy of remark, as bearing a considerable resemblance to that worn by the Wallacks in winter. The drawing and shading of Mercury declare the artist to have been among the best of the time; few, if any, of those of Rome or Pompeii are superior. The sitting figure of Achilles, apparently crowned with laurels, though the head as well as the breast have suffered, is easy and dignified.

The colours, though not bright, are tolerably well preserved. At first, the whole was so covered with dust, that it was with difficulty any colour could be distinguished; but, after carefully washing it, and drying it, they came out more clearly. Some few parts have received a slight incrustation of lime, which might easily be removed with a knife, but we dared not attempt it. The Wallack who was entrusted to take back the key, looked sufficiently alarmed at the washing; and his ignorance might easily have given an unfavourable report to his mistress, and caused other travellers still greater difficulties in seeing it had we attempted to remove the lime.

The Mosaic on the right, represents the judgment of Paris. The first figure is Venus, apparently holding the coveted apple in her left hand above her shoulder. A tight blue and white figured dress covers her to the hips, from whence loose drapery [117] hangs down to the feet. The second figure is probably Juno, whose face, as well as that of her neighbour, whose helmet, gorgon-headed breastplate, and spear, bespeak her Minerva, is overclouded by the scowl of disappointed vanity. The left hand of Minerva, probably rested on her shield ; but the whole of the lower corner ia much injured and very indistinct. These three figures are all beautifully worked out with rich colours, and a little cleansing from the limo would render them quite distinct. On the other side, Paris sits in judgment, wearing the Phrygian cap; and behind him, stands Mercury: both these figures are considerably injured, and scarcely equal to the others in workmanship. Part of the body of Mercury is wanting, and its place is supplied by white Mosaic, ancient, but from the different size and colour of the pieces evidently repaired by another hand.

We had found so much trouble -- it took us the greater part of a day -- in removing the dust and dirt with which these Mosaics were obscured, that we got two linen covers made, and gave directions that they should always be placed over them, except when they were shown. As the peasants who were constantly with us, saw the pleasure we took in sucli things, they soon brought every relic of antiquity the village could boast; among others, a small female head in white marble, part of a small Doric capital of delicate workmanship, besides several common silver and copper coins of Roman Emperors, [118] found in the place. We paid them for these things, not on account of their intrinsic value, but rather to encourage them to preserve everything they might find. The larger objects, we; deposited with the Mosaics, where, I dare say, future travellers will find them. It was not till after we hail left Várhely, that I was aware that a second Mosaic had been discovered there; but in a paper by M. A. Ackner, in the "Transylvania," -- a very useful periodical, now defunct, dedicated to the antiquities of this country,I find mention of a large Mosaic, discovered in 1832, of which only a small part remained perfect, and which, from some dispute among those to whom the land belonged, had been again covered up.

ROMAN AND DACIANS, TROM TRAJAN'S COLUMN
ROMAN AND DACIANS, FROM TRAJAN'S COLUMN

Chapters 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 P.S.




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